Escape : Valley of Flowers Trek.

1:27 PM

    Valley of Flowers National Park is located at  west Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The trek to the valley is a long one and requires pre planning and preparation. There are lot of tourist packages which provide affordable service few of which are YHAI and GMVNL.

Our tour was planned for 15 days including travelling from Bangalore.

Day 1: 
    We took Rajdhani Express from Bangalore. Train provides 1AC,2AC and 3AC classes. Total journey duration is  36 hours.Train leaves Bangalore Central at 8pm.

Day 2: 
    Second day of the tour goes in the train journey, Rajdhani express passes through AP, Maharashta, MP before reaching Delhi. Food is served on the train and the service is pretty good.

Day 3: 
    We reached Nizamudin station in Delhi at 5am. Our next catch was Shatabdi Express from Nizamuddin to Haridwar. Train was scheduled at 7am and it was on time. I was standing at the train door during this entire journey, train doors always give you picturesque landscapes. Shatabdi is supposed to be fastest between Delhi and Haridwar, so it is advised to take this one and avoid rest. Train reached haridwar station by 1pm. We were hungry and tired of the continuous journey. Outside of Haridwar station, waiting was hotel 'Pavitra Bhojanalaya'. We had our lunch here. Lunch was yummy.

Ganga pooja at Ram jhula
    Our Check in place was GMVNL resort in Rishikesh. Haridwar to Rishikesh is around 25kms and there are lot of buses running between them. There are ricks also available and they charge around 300-400rs depending on your bargaining skills. We reached GMVNL hotel by 4pm, freshened up and were out of the hotel to explore Rishikesh.
 
  Rishikesh is a holy town situated across Ganges. Main attractions in Rishikesh are the Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula and Ganga Pooja which is done every evening during twilight time. We made it to Ram Jhula and Ganga Pooja. Ganga Pooja was blissfull. We had famous Aloo tikki  and made back to our hotel by 9pm.


Day 4: 
    The actually journey to valley of flowers starts from day 4. Our bus left Rishikesh at 7 am . We had to travel 250kms from Rishikesh to Joshimath. The road is narrow and passes through west himalayan mountains. Landslides are very common here on the road during rainy season and dont be surprised if you get yourself stuck in traffic jam for hours. Entire journey Ganges will be flowing on your right side, so make sure that you take right side window seat in your vehicle.


Dev Prayag
    You will meet three Prayags(means confluence) on your journey. These are
     1. Devprayag: Here Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river meet to form Ganges. This is the actual birthplace of Ganges
     2. Rudraprayag: Here Alaknanda meets Mandakini river.
     3. Karnaprayag: Here Alkananda meets Pindar river.

Travelling 250kms takes 8-9 hours since avg speed of the vehicle is 40kmph. GMVNL has resorts in all major towns in Garhwal region. We reached Joshimath by 8pm.

Day 5: 
    We had to goto Govindghat, trekking starts from here. Govindghat is around 22kms from Joshimath. On the way you meet Vishnu prayag which is one of the panch prayag. Here Alaknanda meets Dhauliganga river.

On the way to Ghanghria
    Govindghat is located at the confluence of Alaknanda and Laxman ganga rivers. Trek to both Valley of flowers and Hemkund Saheb starts from here. You can find hundreds of Sikhs here who come to the holy shrine of Hemkund saheb.  We had to trek for 15kms this day from Govindghat to the hill town of Ghanghria. One can take horse to goto Ghangria and luggage can be given to porters who carry your luggage till the top. They charge around 500rs for it. There is a well built pavement from Govindghat to Ghanghria, so there is not much of tiring. You can find many hotels and shops on the way. MRP of all food items increases as you hike up. Entire trek you find Pushpavati river flowing next to you. It takes around 6-7 hours to reach Ghanghria by walk. We reached Ghanghria by 4pm. This town has recently got electricity so you wil not find geysers in hotels and they charge 50rs for a bucket of hot water. All food items are sold at thrice the MRP price. You can find only Idea network here, there are PCOs which charge 10rs/1min of call.
Documentary about Valley of Flowers is shown at the tourist center in the evening, We had nice dinner in the evening and went off to bed early.

Day 6:

@ the heart of the valley
    We got up early in the morning and packed our lunch. Around 1 kms from Ghangria is the entrance gate to the Valley. You have to pay trekking fees of 150rs here. Valley of flower trek from Ghanghria is quite easy one and you dont  get tired as you feel like you are walking in the heaven. As you enter the park you can see flowers around getting denser as you move ahead. The trek to the park depends on how much you want to trek. If you want to cover the entire valley then the valley stretches upto 10ks otherwise you can visit Mrgaret Legge's memorial which is around 7 kms from Ghanghria.  Throughout the valley you can see Pushpavathi river flowing adjacent to you. Sometimes you need to cross small streams of water over logs or small bridges. We had our packed lunch here. I went till the end of the Valley where you find the glacier.

Valley of flowers
     It is adviced that you should start trek early in the morning. After 1pm clouds cover the park and it starts raining. Same happened with us while coming back. We were drenched inspite of wearing raincotas and the temperature was very low, freezing cold you can say.

    We reached back to Ghanghria by 5pm, had hot tea which gave us our life back.


Day 7: 
On the way to Hemkund

 Our today's destination was Hemkund Saheb , a holy Sikh shrine. It is about 6kms from Ghanghria and the trek is a difficult one. You can take Horses or porters. Two of us took Horses. Me and Pradeep started walking. The trek was steep and tiring. It took us 4 hours to cover 6kms. On the way we had some amazing landscape views. At the Hemkund there is a Gurudwara and a Laxman temple. You get Khichdi and Tea in Gurudwara which is very refreshing in the cold weather. We stayed here for 2 hours and took some pictures and started climbing down. It took us 3 hours to climb down. We came back to Ghanghria and rested here.

Hemkund
Day 8:
    We started climbing down early in the morning. We were at Govindghat by 12pm. We took bus to Badrinath and had lunch there. Evening time we visited the temple and did some shopping. Bath in the hot water spring at Badrinath was amazing.

Day 9:
     We visited last village of India, Mana. The village is on the border with Tibet/china. In the village are the Vyaas gufa nd Ganesh gufa where the Saint Vyasa narrated Mahabharatha to Lord Ganesha. We started our journey back to DevPrayag. It took us arond 5 hours to reach Rudraprayag.

Day 10: 
    We started journey from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh. We reached Rishikesh by 1pm. We booked our train tickets to Delhi and went back on that day itself.

Day 11,12, 13: 
    We visited India gate, Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Red fort in Delhi.

Day 14, 15: Travel back to Bangalore in Rajdhani Express.


   






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3 comments

  1. Nice travelougue !!!
    Nice picture. Himalayas are heavens , Uttarakhand is a blessed state.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. Yes, I was lost in Uttarakhand..! Himalayans are heaven indeed. Planning to visit there atleast once in 2 years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice Blog post, Thanks for sharing good information !

    Get quotes from multiple operators for Valley of Flowers Trek. Compare easily and book your trek from any operator on Mojhi.

    ReplyDelete

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